IRI, the global leader in data, consulting and insight solutions for the FMCG Retail industry, has announced it is partnering with pet care and food leader Mars to provide data and analytics services to the iconic brand.
“IRI is proud to announce that we will be forming a special partnership with international food and pet care leader, Mars. IRI will be the renowned brand’s key data and analytics partner for market measurements across the Australian market for their Petcare and Food divisions," said Alistair Leathwood, Chief Commercial Officer, Asia Pacific, for IRI.
Mars has been proudly family-owned for over 100 years and has more than 125,000 employees in 80 countries around the world. In Australia Mars Petcare produces well known pet foods such as PEDIGREE, WHISKAS and OPTIMUM. Mars Food covers many well known brands such as UNCLE BEN’S, MASTERFOODS, DOLMIO and KAN TONG.
Mars has a strong commitment to technology, research and innovation, and providing high quality products for people and their furry companions. IRI will become Mars Food and Mars Petcare’s primary data and analytics partner in Australia.
“The Australian grocery market is more competitive than ever. Given the importance of the relationship between brand equity and perceived value in the path to purchase; and the fast evolving nature of online shopping; we need a highly skilled partner with a global footprint we can trust to deliver and assist us to find opportunities and achieve growth in this disrupted environment," said Patrick Hughes, Commercial Manager for Mars.
“IRI is well known for its ability to partner with organisations to drive growth through market expertise, cutting edge technology and customer service. We look forward to building our relationship with IRI, and we are certain that our own business, our retail customers, and our end-user consumers will benefit from this partnership.
“We will be using IRI’s full suite of market-leading offerings including their industry-leading technology Liquid Data and Unify reporting platform to transform the business and provide a single source of truth for our team to accelerate business decisions and identify white space opportunities.
“IRI’s quality of service, consultative skills and unparalleled capabilities to deliver real actionable insights will ensure we receive the support, leadership and guidance we need to keep innovating as a brand.
“As the leading provider of data and predictive analytics, IRI will help us to create a 360-degree view of our shopper, leveraging IRI’s data, Shopper Panel and customer data solutions.”
“Mars has been a prominent family-owned global company for more than 100 years and it’s easy to see why. The whole organisation is dedicated to bettering the lives of people and their pets all over the globe through the development and delivery of clever, innovative, thoughtful and relevant products. Mars has a reputation for designing and implementing new technologies that allow them to maintain their position as market leaders. Their partnership with IRI is just another example of this," said Leathwood.
Leathwood believes that IRI is well-positioned to provide Mars with the insights and expertise the brand is seeking to drive growth and inspire organisational change. Like Mars, IRI never rests in the pursuit of excellence.
“IRI is the global leading provider of data, consulting, and insight solutions to the FMCG Retail industry. We pride ourselves on our deep analytical rigor and our embrace of innovative, cutting edge technologies. We are obsessed with the shopper; harnessing the largest shopper panel in Australia, we are obsessive about knowing how shoppers think, behave and spend.
“It is this determination, drive and relentless focus on shopper behaviour that enables us to partner so successfully with brands and achieve great things together.”
“Our objective is to emerge from 2021 smarter, more flexible and more in tune with the changing preferences of Australian consumers. The market has obviously undergone a dramatic shift over the last 15 months, so Mars wants to stay ahead and not only shift with it - but to influence it," said Hughes.
“IRI will play a significant role in guiding us through the end of the pandemic and the post-COVID era as well. IRI’s Shopper Panel, which is the largest in Australia, will be an enormous help to Mars in figuring out where Australian shoppers are going in 2021 and beyond. This partnership will enable us to use our resources most effectively and direct them towards opportunities for our company.”
According to Leathwood, IRI’s partnership with Mars is even more evidence of the increasing relevance of data and analytics as essential business functions.
“In 2021, the importance of data and insights has risen dramatically. It’s interesting to see the businesses that do and don’t embrace it. It’s obvious to us at IRI that the businesses that understand the market are the businesses that know how to succeed," said Leathwood.
“What most businesses tend to do during recessions is to pull back on research and innovation. However, it’s well established that recessions are the most important time to understand your customer. Why? Because that’s when they are least predictable. If you want to go where consumers are going, you need to have a good grasp of the market. You need to know at a granular level what shoppers are thinking and where they are shopping.”